We went shopping at MegaGroce on the Monday morning, to buy amongst other things the bananas that we had forgotten to buy on the Saturday. I intended for us to visit the dental practices where we thought the Old Man must have been fitted with his false teeth, to find out which dentist had supplied them and to make an appointment for the Old Man to be fitted with a replacement lower set. However, on the way back from MegaGroce, the Old Man advised me that he had found his false teeth. So we did not need to make a detour to the dentists’. Then after we got back to the Old Man’s house, he realised that he had found the upper set but not the lower. I phoned one of the dental practices, and they had no record of the Old Man on their computer or their card-file. When I phoned the other practice, there was no reply.
The Old Man’s watch had gone missing again. I found it in the bathroom, on the stand. (When it goes missing, it is usually to be found in the Old Man’s bedroom or in the bathroom.)
A few times that long weekend (as opposed to several times a fortnight previously) the Old Man asked me to pass him the mouse on the computer table, under the impression that it was his electric shaver. The shaver is mainly bright yellow, the mouse is mainly cream-coloured.
“I keep forgetting you don’t live here,” said the Old Man when I reminded him that I would be driving back to Suburbia Somnolenta that afternoon.
Sometime after 14:00, Mrs CJ was at the washing-line in her back garden, and I went over to speak to her. (Unusually for nowadays, the Old Man had — without any pressure from me — come outdoors with a view to closing the gates of the driveway after I had gone. However, he did not join Mrs CJ and myself; he stayed out of sight, and when I had finished talking with Mrs CJ, I found him at the front corner of the house, leaning back against the green bin.)
Charlie turned 7 in June 2010, and Karl is due to turn 4 in November 2010. Charlie is full of bright ideas. Sometimes he asks his grandfather (Mr CJ) whether he is going to mow Mr Oldman’s lawn. He is performing well in most subjects at school, where one of his teachers is a man. However, Charlie’s writing is not so good. This may be explained by his non-standard methods:
“My right hand got tired, so I finished it with my left hand.”
“So no b****y wonder his writing’s all over the place,” Mrs CJ said to me.
Dull and wet weather had prevented me from mowing the lawns. The grass had not grown much in the previous fortnight, but there was a lot of clover mixed in with it. Mrs CJ said, unprompted, that she or Mr CJ would mow the Old Man’s lawns if they had time. Recently they had had a downstairs toilet installed, and now they were planning to do a lot of decorating, but they were having trouble getting started.
I told Mrs CJ about the Old Man’s false teeth, and she recommended her own dentist. I also told her about how the Old Man’s watch had twice gone missing and had twice been found.
At 20:08, I phoned the Old Man.
“I was going to try my hand at toasting,” he said.
He found and swallowed his cod-liver-oil capsule and multivitamin.
We moved on to the evening box. “The one with the six blue dots,” I advised the Old Man.
“Six blue dots,” he echoed.
“It’s simvastatin, not simbastatin,” the Old Man informed [!] me. He found the simvastatin, and swallowed a tablet.
We proceeded to the ferrous sulphate. Again he complained that I had mispronounced the name of the medication. He found the package of ferrous sulphate. Suddenly I heard the TV sound come on. I told him to turn it off. To my surprise, the Old Man did that almost at once.
He took a tablet out of the package of ferrous sulphate.
“Have I got to drink it with water?” he asked. I said yes. He swallowed the tablet.
There was a long pause during his search for co-codamol. He told me that he’d had to use scissors to open the bubble-pack. He swallowed a tablet.
Our phone-call ended at 20:31.
[Original posting 19 July 2011]